Pro cycling is coming to Baltimore in 2020.
On Wednesday race organizers revealed plans to launch a new international one-day men’s race in Maryland next year, which will become part of the UCI ProSeries. The Maryland Cycling Classic will slot into the UCI designation below WorldTour status, however on par with some of the bigger one-day races in Europe.
Baltimore is the host city for the race. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said the race will “showcase all that our great state has to offer” in a press release.
“There are so many communities in Maryland that have a deep and rich tradition for cycling and this event will celebrate this history while marking a new era for the sport in our state,” Hogan said. “We commend the hard work and dedication of organizations like the Maryland Sports Commission, who are working at the local and state levels to solidify Maryland’s reputation as a home for some of the world’s premiere sporting events.”
The race will be organized by Medalist Sports. Based on the initial release, the race is being funded in part by the Maryland Sports Commission and Visit Baltimore.
The race will be held on September 6, 2020, which places it one week before the WorldTour one-day races in Quebec, Canada. Organizers hope that the date attracts those WorldTour teams that plan to participate in the GP Quebec and Montreal.
Those races often attract Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Greg van Avermaet (CCC Team), Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) and other classics specialists.
Organizers expect major international teams to attend the race, including UCI Pro Continental squads from Europe. The new UCI ProSeries is comprised of events that formerly held the 1.HC rating. The two best-performing UCI Pro Continental teams in the ProSeries will get an entry into the grand tour races for the following season.
Organizers referenced the 2015 UCI World Road Championships in nearby Richmond, Virginia as inspiration for the event. That race attracted thousands of spectators over one week of racing.
“There are a ton of passionate fans on the east coast of the U.S. This will give them an opportunity to experience world-class cycling,” said Ben King (Dimension Data) in a release. “We’ve been missing a big one-day race in the U.S. for several years. The Worlds in Richmond proved the east coast is starved for big-time professional cycling because we had huge crowds.”